All this legislation – and no more coffee

23 August 2001 by
All this legislation – and no more coffee

We started this month with a support team role exchange, where each of us spent a day in another department. This involved immersing ourselves in the running of each other's divisions, as well as decision-making and planning.

For me, the human resources division was an eye-opener, with the huge amount of legislation now prevalent in our industry. With more than 400 members of staff and some departments with high staff turnover levels, it was very challenging.

Our estate manager, Russell Crighton, spent his day in my office, coming to terms with the laptop, as well as greeting guests and getting familiar with the general running of all the other departments.

All in all, it was a successful and worthwhile exercise and definitely something we would consider again.

On a different note, I recently completed a four-day first aid course, which I found to be highly valuable. I learned a range of skills, from tending to burns to giving artificial respiration. I wish I had attended this course years ago, given the fact that the business is a family resort hotel.

In our new leisure club, we now have food allergy testing on offer - though perhaps resistance to food would be a better term. It would seem that I have an intolerance of dairy products, coffee, spring onions and monosodium glutamate, to name just a few.

This service is proving very popular, not only with guests but also with staff, although I have to say that I am a little sceptical, as I felt fine before the test and I have not noticed any change in my wellbeing since. For me, coffee is the hardest thing to give up, especially in this industry.

We are in the process of reviewing our wines and spirits supplier, and have asked five companies to tender for the contract. The presentations have varied, but all have stuck to the brief as laid down by Chris Dalton, our general manager.

These tenders, in my view, are always a good chance to look at what we offer our guests, not only from a new idea point of view, but to remind ourselves how we could be doing better.

The decision will be made by Chris and the food and beverage team next week - not an easy task. Oh well, in this industry, things are rarely easy.

STEPHEN LECKIE is managing director of the Crieff Hydro leisure hotel in Crieff, Perthshire Next diary from Stephen Leckie: 27 September

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